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Why Do Bipolar Marriages Fail

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What If Both Partners Have Bipolar Disorder

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Both partners having bipolar disorder can come with their own set of challenges. One partner might have more manic episodes and the other more depressive. A primary concern would be if they had similar presentations and both engaged in risky behaviors. One partner could potentially sabotage the other into not taking medication or prevent them from seeking healthy ways of living. One partner could depend on the other so much that the other does not pay close enough attention to their symptoms as their care is disproportionate.

However, the positive is that both partners can better understand each others needs. They can rely on one another in healthy ways to get through the worst of their symptoms. They may feel more at ease sharing with them their experiences and build trust over a shared issue.

Bipolar Relationship Breakup Cycle

While not all bipolar relationships fail, we all experience breakups at some point in our lives. For many of us, the termination of a relationship can be difficult to deal with. Relationship breakdowns, on the other hand, can be very challenging for persons with bipolar disorder, not only because of the emotional instability that results, but also because of the change in routine, stress, and loss that can provoke either mania or despair.

What Does It Mean If Your Partner Is Bipolar

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition marked by intense mood changes. People with the illness switch back and forth from mania or hypomania to having episodes of depression.

The lifelong condition tends to run in families, although the cause of bipolar disease is unknown. However, it can often be successfully managed through treatment. There are two primary types of bipolar disorder:

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What It Feels Like To Cycle With Bipolar Disorder

People with bipolar disorder who are having a cycle frequently describe themselves as being on a roller coaster. It can be exhausting and even terrifying to go through such a wide range of emotions in such a short period.

Cycling, for many persons with bipolar disease, makes them feel out of control. For example, during a manic episode, they may make decisions that they are ill-equipped to deal with when they transition to a depressive phase.

During a manic episode, you may believe that you are actually unique and strong. Then, during a depressive episode, you may feel absolutely empty and as if your life has no meaning. 1 Such severe emotional swings might be frightening.

The Relationship Trigger In Youth

Pin by Rachel Veley on meme meeting

It is extremely important that you pay attention to this next pointI sincerely ask and deeply hope that you can KEEP working on your recovery no matter what is going on with your relationship. Try not to allow your relationship to cloud your judgment, this is one of the biggest triggers that leads to the most successful rates of self-injury and even worse, that of taking ones own life due to a souring or breaking up of a relationship.

I personally fell victim to this on a few occasions. The deep anguish I felt over the loss of a few, not just one, girlfriends of my youth triggered self-injury, and suicidal behavior.

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Reach Out To Your Support Network

Your support network is vital during a bipolar relationship breakup, so be sure to ask for help if you need it. If you don’t have a support network nearby, resist the urge to reach out to your ex-partner unless it’s an emergency. You need to heal, and you can’t do that if you’re always in touch with the person you broke up with. Try attending a bipolar support group instead to help you manage your moods and avoid triggers.

Can Adhd Cause Divorce Or Other Relationship Issues

ADHD can be a contributing factor in a wide range of . If your partner has ADD, you may feel ignored and lonely. Your partner can focus on things that interest them, but not on you. They never seem to follow through on what they agree to do. They may seem to act like a child instead of an adult. You nag them, and youve started to dislike the person youve become. The two of you either fight or clam up. Worst of all, you are stressed about being saddled with the household responsibilities while your partner gets to have all the fun.

If you have ADHD, you may feel your partner has become a nagging monster. The person you loved has become a control freak, trying to manage the details of your life. No matter how hard you try, you cant meet your partners expectations. The easiest way to deal with them is to leave them alone.

Either of these scenarios can ultimately result in the end of a relationship. If the above descriptions sound familiar, your relationship is suffering from what I call the ADHD effect. ADHD symptoms and the responses both of you have to them have damaged your partnership. The good news is that understanding the role that ADHD plays in your relationship can turn it around. When you learn to identify the challenges ADHD brings to relationships, and the steps you can take to meet them, you can rebuild your lives. Thats exactly what my partner and I did.

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The Stress Of Managing The Symptoms

Treatment can help when continuous and focused effort exists. However, successful treatment can be a challenge because many people miss their up periods and the euphoria of manic episodes, so they might seek to induce those periods of elevated mood.

It might also be that they see those periods as times when they are being their best selves and decide to stop the treatment to having it again.

Choosing to stop taking medication affects their partner too. Together they have worked towards establishing a symptoms-free period, and this act can be perceived as a betrayal after everything they did to help their loved one feel better. You can imagine how that can impact the relationship.

My Wife Bipolar And I

Bipolar Disorder – Why One Medication May Not Work

Beka is one of our bloggers and her husband, Ron, wrote this post for our couples series. Read Bekas accompanying post here.

I read somewhere recently that the divorce rate when one marriage partner has bipolar disorder is 90%. While it seems kind of high to me, I suppose I understand it. In the 12 years I have been married to my wife, there have been many times when one or both of us was ready to quit.

Let me start off by saying that I dont know what it feels like to have bipolar disorder. But I do know what it feels like to live with it. Ive sat helpless as depression brought my wife to her lowest points. Ive spent nights afraid to fall asleep for fear that my wife would hurt herself. Ive watched manic episodes chip away at the foundation of our marriage. And Ive had to accept a two year old believing that I was the reason Mommy wouldnt stop crying or wouldnt get out of bed. Bipolar disorder can bring even the strongest people to their knees.

When we got engaged, my wife told me about her bipolar diagnosis at 21. She told me about her issues cutting, the suicide attempts, and the hospitalizations. She told me about the regrets she had for things she had done while manic. I think she was giving me an opportunity to walk away. But we were in love and that would be enough to get us through.

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Kyle What Was Your Take On What Was Going On At The Time

Kyle: I felt like I had zero control of her situation, period. When she was in that deep depression, I didnt know she was bipolar, that was never even a thought. I encouraged her to listen to the nurse practitioner. I just figured that shed studied this in school, that this was her profession, so I thought that this was the best option for Megan. It was really challenging watching her struggle, to not be able to really help.

Megan: I just want to add that you really did alleviate the situation, because you really stepped up during that time and did all the grocery shopping, all the laundry. He took care of our dog, he paid all the bills, he went to work. He did literally everything to step up to help me and be there for me. And he didn’t put any pressure on me at all.

Any of the times I’ve ever been depressed, hes always been very supportive. He didnt ask me, whats wrong with you. Or why can’t I do this or that? Hes been so respectful. And I’m so grateful to have a husband like that, to support me and be there for me. He doesn’t understand what depression feels likebut he’s witnessed me not being able to shower, not being able to get off the couch, being in the same clothes I’ve worn for five days in a row. And while he doesn’t know what I feel, he understands that the struggle I deal with is real. And I just really appreciate him so much, because it takes a really strong partner to be with someone whos struggling with mental illness.

The Emotional Rollercoaster Of Ups & Downs

Emotional dysregulation for the person with bipolar can also be dysregulating to their partner. The partner of the bipolar individual may live in a state of uncertainty, insecurity, powerlessness, and loneliness. 3 They may experience hypervigilance and feel on edge because they do not know when an episode will arise or if that person may break up with them for no reason. This up-and-down roller coaster is exhausting and draining, creating mental fatigue.

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Signs Undiagnosed Adhd Is Causing Relationship Problems

We didnt know that my partner had ADHD. I had fallen in love with his brilliance, sharp wit, and his appetite for adventure. His intense focus on me was surprising and flattering. He was warm and attentive. When I got sick on our first date, he tucked me under a blanket on the sofa and made me hot tea. I was touched.

Not long after we got married, our relationship began to fall apart. I couldnt understand how someone who had been so attentive could ignore my needs, or be so consistently inconsistent helping out around the house. He was equally confused and annoyed. How could the woman he had married, who had seemed so endearing and optimistic, change into a fire-breathing dragon who wouldnt give him a break and wouldnt leave him alone?

By our tenth anniversary, we had considered divorce. We were angry, frustrated, disconnected, and unhappy. I was beyond sad. We stayed glued together only by our desire to raise our children well and by a feeling, deep inside, that we ought to be able to do better. Around that time, our daughter, who was nine, was diagnosed as having a learning disability and ADHD. In time, my husband was also diagnosed with ADHD.

Why Bipolar Relationships Fail 5 Common Reasons To Know


The answer to Why Bipolar Relationships Fail is pretty much straightforward since there are multiple variables to consider. In a relationship, long-term happiness and success must be taken into account. Its important to know the most common reasons why relationships fail when one person has bipolar disorder. It can help you avoid some of the pitfalls of a relationship gone wrong. We wont support the statement that Bipolar Relationships Are Not Strong, but whats the reason behind they are not fulfilling and long-lasting. This post is all about understanding the reasons Why Bipolar Relationships Fail sometimes and what makes them so challenging. But before we move to describe the reasons and effects of bipolar disorder in fruitful relationships, lets get to know what bipolar disorder is?

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What Things Do You Do To Help Keep Your Relationship On Track

Kyle: We enjoy taking our dog on a walk slash run, it gives us a chance to bond together. We also make dinners and go to the gym together.

Megan: Kyle is a CrossFit coach and I always make the effort to go to his class because it’s more time that we can spend together doing something positive. Our gym community is so supportive. Back in September of 2019 we did a mental health awareness night, where I shared my story publicly and about 60 people were there. I felt myself shed layers and become my true vulnerable and honest self. Admit that I’m sober. Admit that I have bipolar. Admit that I take medication.

Why Do Relationships Fail Here Are 10 Common Reasons

Most of us want to meet and settle down with the right person, and most of us want such a relationship to last. At the same time, the majority of romantic partnerships end in dissolution. What are some of the major causes? Below are ten reasons why relationships fail, excerpted from my books : 7 Keys to Long-Term Relationship Success and How to Communicate Effectively and Handle Difficult People.

Of course, every couple is unique. The longer two people shared their lives together, the more likely complex factors are involved. The list of reasons below is not meant to be comprehensive. They simply represent some of the most common and damaging factors behind relational dissolution.

1. Trust Issues

Lack or loss of trust is one of the most harmful contagions to a couples long-term success. Without trust, a relationship misses two of the key anchors to a strong bond: safety and security.

Trust issues may include factors such as jealousy, possessiveness, unreasonable rigidity, emotional infidelity, physical/sexual infidelity, relational game playing, lack of reliability and dependability, lack of emotional support, lack of financial compatibility, and lack of mutually-supportive goals.

2. Different Expectations

Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.

Some of the reasons relationship divergence occur between a couple include:

Mister/Miss Right or Mister/Miss Right Now?

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Effectiveness Of Medication Could Be Extremely Unpredictable

Got a med regime that works? Great!

But make sure youve got a good plan B and a plan C for when it doesnt.

Living with bipolar may require and endless tweaking of medication to avoid twerking your mood swings in your partners face. It might involve a seemingly endless process of adjustments.

But taking meds faithfully is the holy of holies. Couples who are struggling to manage bipolar need sacred agreements to faithfully abide by their current treatment regime.

Two couples can have completely different agreements around helping or not helping with medication. There is no right way. Dont enter into an agreement that leaves you stressed or resentful.

Avoid the Temptation to Become a 24/7 Psychiatric Nurse.

Try not to let BPD be the centerpiece of your bipolar marriage. You dont want to become more of a nurse than a spouse. Take care of yourself, read relax, indulge in your hobbies.

Preserve your mental and emotional capacities for yourself and others. Your marriage is not only about managing bipolar disorder. If you find that preventing bipolar marriage breakdown is hogging your resources, find a way to seek balance. Avoid burning out.

Date The Person Not The Diagnosis

Light up Your Relationships

In the search for why bipolar relationships fail, we need to remember that what breaks apart most couples is making assumptions. When couples start attributing everything to the diagnosis instead of searching for ways to overcome problems, they enter a hopeless mindset.

They might think diagnosis is for life, and so there is no purpose to keep trying.


Many couples are dealing with mental illness, and they make it work.


The key is to remember NOT to generalize!

One person with bipolar will have trouble controlling their anger another wont. Someone else may experience extreme irritability during hypomania or mania another wont. A mental condition, although called the same, will have many faces.

If you are seeing the person through the lens of their diagnosis, you are not seeing the true them. This approach wont help your relationship since your partner will feel judged and categorized. If you want to make this relationship work, be ready to get to know them and see past the labels.

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When To Seek Professional Help

Seeking out professional help should be a team effort. Taking on too many issues by yourself indicates that outside help might be necessary. Feeling burnout or fatigue is another sign that a professional might be helpful. One partner should only do so much of the lifting. Even finding a therapist should be a team effort. 8

Individual therapy does not take the place of couples counseling.8Bipolar treatment benefits the partner with bipolar disorder and carries over into the relationship. The couples work is going to be focused on the couple and getting them back to a place of functioning. There are many ways to find a therapist right for you, and an online therapist directory is a great place to start.

Some therapeutic methods for addressing problems in a relationship include:

Dramatic Changes In Mood And Behavior

Although the symptoms of bipolar disorder exist on a spectrum, both hypo/manic and depressive episodes are present with this diagnosis. One of the reasons why bipolar relationships fail is related to dramatic changes in the mood and behavior that come with the episodes.

For example, during manic episodes, a person seeks more pleasure through heavy drinking or partying. On the other hand, during a depressive phase, they might withdraw from the partner due to the heavy onset of hopelessness and despair.

Living with someone with bipolar can be challenging as it requires the spouse to find ways to cope with the experience of these tense and sometimes extreme fluctuations.

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